Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This “Gwendolynn’s Apprehension” by Mick Jenkins:

One of my students introduced this song into our class discussion of Gwendolyn Brooks’s poetry this week. Mick Jenkins borrows and cuts up Brooks’s famous poem, “We Real Cool” for the chorus of this song, and in the middle of our discussion of that poem, we listened to this song and then continued our discussion, back and forth between the poem and the song. These kinds of moments and discussions are, to me at any rate, a profound part of what the experience of literature and the experience of music are about, and thanks to my student (thanks, Karim!) I can rethink a poem I thought I might have thought about enough. I also have a lot of new listening to do (thanks again!).

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Song of the Week: “Lexicon Devil” by Germs

by Douglas Cowie on 25 January 2019

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Lexicon Devil” by Germs:

I first encountered “Lexicon Devil” as part of the Jane’s Addiction song “LA Medley,” in which they jam it in between “LA Woman” by the Doors and “Nausea” by X.

RIP Lorna Doom.

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals:

I heard this song on a television show the other day. I hadn’t thought about it in a long time. I really liked it when it came out in 1989, a year in which I was otherwise mostly listening to Metallica and Iron Maiden, and I still like it thirty years later, in a year when I’m less puzzled by liking it than I probably was when I was twelve.

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Song of the Week: “The Walls Came Down” by The Call

by Douglas Cowie on 11 January 2019

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “The Walls Came Down” by The Call:

There’s been a lot of bigly talk lately from some fascist about a wall and how it’ll magically solve all the hugely problems. A basic study of history will point your average wall enthusiast towards the conclusion that whatever they’re supposed to accomplish, walls don’t work. But it’s worth keeping in mind that some fascist doesn’t really care what a wall along the border between the United States of America and the Estados Unidos Mexicanos might or might not do; some fascist just wants to build it because he thinks demonizing the people on one side and trumping up a crisis that isn’t there and wouldn’t be fixed by concrete or steel anyway helps him consolidate his power on the other side. Some fascist and some other fascists that enable him are “just corporate criminals / playing with tanks,” and no wall is going to keep the people from Aztlán.

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